Black Ferns: Elder, 'It’s nice to be back'

By Jamie Wall
Video/Black Ferns.

Black Ferns captain Les Elder (Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto) is happy to be back in the starting lineup for tomorrow’s Women’s Super Series decider in San Diego against England.

The open side flanker missed the team’s 25-16 loss against France last weekend, but said that the eight-day break between games has been beneficial.

“We’ve got the clarity we needed,” she said after the captain’s run today.

“We’ve stepped out on the park ready to go.”

Elder is under no illusions as to what the unbeaten English will bring to the game.

“They’re a quality team, they go a lot of phases. We’ll be aiming to disrupt that a little bit.”

It’s highly likely the winner of this match will become the front runner in the long buildup to the Women’s Rugby World Cup, due to be staged in New Zealand in 2021. Right now, the lack of dominance of the Black Ferns will be raising a few eyebrows, as they are the current world champions.

They’ve beaten Canada and the US in the tournament so far, however, neither were especially convincing performances. The loss to France was a very flat showing, with the only points coming from penalties by Kendra Cocksedge and a penalty try.

This match against England will be played at San Diego State University’s Torero Stadium, a vast upgrade from the Chula Vista training centre at which there were no grandstands and permanent changing facilities.